Drake watches from cageside at UFC 297 as he loses $700,000 Sean Strickland bet

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Drake watched from cageside as his latest big bet played out.

On Saturday morning, the rap icon announced he had backed Sean Strickland to the tune of $700,000 [£551K] ahead of his first middleweight title defence at UFC 297.

Drake thought the champ would retain his belt


Drake thought the champ would retain his beltCredit: @champagnepapi – instagram

Drake shared a picture of his bet slip, which was potentially worth over £1million, on Instagram and confirmed he would be in Toronto for the first UFC pay-per-view show of the year.

The 37-year-old has often gambled big on combat sports, including the UFC, and has earned a reputation for being ‘cursed’ due to his bad luck with betting.

Drake famously wagered $500,000 [£401K] on Israel Adesanya to KO Strickland at UFC 293 last September, but things didn’t go his way.  

Strickland scored a heavy knockdown in round one before avoiding Adesanya’s power shots for the next four frames to cost Drake big time.

At UFC 296 in December, Drake proved that even when he backs the winner he can still lose money after placing a $250,000 bet on Leon Edwards to KO Colby Covington.

‘Rocky’ put on a flawless display but didn’t find the finish. After five rounds, the fight was decided by the judges and Drake ended his year on another big loss.

Now, he’s started 2024 by losing a massive chunk of money.

Strickland fell to a razor-thin split decision defeat to Dricus du Plessis, who did enough to convince two judges to score the fight 48-47 in his favour.

Drake's UFC betting record is terrible


Drake’s UFC betting record is terribleCredit: Getty
Strickland's loss cost him big at UFC 297


Strickland’s loss cost him big at UFC 297Credit: Getty

The first South African champion in UFC history suffered a badly swollen eye but managed to overcome it and inflict even more damage on his rival.

Du Plessis opened up a massive cut on Strickland’s face, and the wacky American spent the last few rounds of the fight repeatedly wiping blood out of his eye.

Both men let it all hang out in the final frame, and it really could have gone either way – but, in the end, Du Plessis walked away with middleweight gold.

He’ll move on to potential fights with Israel Adesnaya and Khamzat Chimaev, while Strickland will look to rebuild by beating a top contender.

Drake is hopefully thinking about calling time on his UFC betting career after a disastrous start to the year.


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